Sri Lanka mobile users up 30-pct in first quarter

July 15, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s mobile phone subscribers grew 30 percent to 15.0 million in the first quarter of 2010, while fixed wireless users grew 4.7 percent and wireline users were flat, official data show. Fixed wireless subscribers grew to 2.58 million users in the first quarter from 2.47 users a year earlier, while wireline subscribers fell 555 to 875,509 telecom data released by the central bank showed.

But wireline users increased from a December quarter low of 871,248 ending a contraction in the category. Wireline is sold only by Sri Lanka Telecom, which is jointly owned by Sri Lanka’s government and Malaysia’s UT group.

In Sri Lanka wireless access is sold mainly using CDMA technology by Sri Lanka Telecom, Lanka Bell, Suntel and a fixed access unit of the cellc Dialog Axiata.

During 2009 wireline users fell by 17,731, while fixed wireless users only grew by 2,128.

From this week Sri Lanka’s telecom regulator has put floor prices of 2.0 rupees a minute for mobile calls and 50 cents for interconnection between networks. Internet and email subscribers have grown 6.8 percent (16,000) to 250,000 in the first quarter from a year earlier.